SYTYCD Season 10: Handicapping the Contestants

courtesy 19 Entertainment/Dick Clark Productions

courtesy 19 Entertainment/Dick Clark Productions

Getting ready for the competition to begin! Trying to form my impressions on the Season 10 contestants….here they are:

Tap

    Aaron Turner, 25
    Las Vegas, NV
    Alexis Juliano, 18
    Coral Springs, FL
    Curtis Holland, 18
    Miami, FL

Hip-Hop

    Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall, 18
    Wichita, KS
    Mariah Spears, 19
    Chandler, AZ

    Jade Zuberi, 21
    Detroit, MI (animator)
    Dorian “BluPrint” Hector, 19
    Atlanta, GA (animator)

Contemporary

    Malece Miller, 19
    Layton, UT
    Amy Yakima, 19
    Northville, MI
    Makenzie Dustman, 18
    Temecula, CA
    Hayley Erbert, 18
    Topeka, KS
    Tucker Knox, 22
    Nashville, TN
    Nico Greetham, 18
    Woodbridge, VA
    Jasmine Harper, 19
    Rochester, NY
    Jasmine Mason, 19
    Placentia, CA
    Carlos Garland, 24
    Jacksonville, FL

Ballroom

    Paul Kamiryan, 21
    Los Angeles, CA
    Jenna Johnson, 18
    Provo, UT
    Alan Bersten, 19
    Minnetonka, MN
    Brittany Cherry, 19
    Pleasant Grove, UT

As I suspected, this is the season of the child, as only 5 of the dancers—all guys—are of drinking age. Aaron’s inclusion makes him the elder statesman over Carlos by a year. He’s a triple threat favorite right now—a tapper, a “seasoned” dancer and a Katrina survivor….you know I want him to at least ride this train to the Top 10. And of course my other sentimental spots—the underdogs—have me pulling for Fik-Shun, Jade, BluPrint and wide-eyed Curtis to do well. The girls are all on a level field, with the Jasmines as my sentimental faves (the vicarious brown girl win is always on my mind). But looking at technique and performance energy everybody’s looking really good. The last three seasons have yielded no really weak dancers in the Top 20, but all this year’s cast seems to have exceptional star quality. That’s surprising—there has been many a dancer put through that I’ve scratched my head on in previous seasons, but every one of these dancers is a good fit.

Sheer force of will is going to keep Aaron and Jade in; Tucker and Jasmine Mason have faced life and death scale fear so they’ll be throwing in all they’ve got and more, Jasmine Harper and BluPrint seem very determined. The only ones who concern me, based on their profiles and past interviews, are Malese, Makenzie and Alan. I’m sure they all have the drive it takes to throw themselves into the competition, but Melese’s “decline” after the cement floor header (as the judges oh-so-helpfully pointed out to her) might get into her head and cause an unintentionally mental block, as well as with Alan, who probably still has his selection over his older brother and mentor on his mind. Makenzie being in an artist mindset may not lend enough sharpness to her competitive teeth, or at least not enough to cater to the judges’ whims. Now none of this is to say that any of them are going to fall off because of this—but I have seen previously acclaimed dancers lose some of their luster in the competition.

Carlos has good chops but his two younger contemporaries (pun not intended) Tucker and Nico have upped his ante; he will have to work very hard to match or exceed their look and make a statement with the audience. He already gets mad props from me for doing that contemporary number in men’s dress shoes and not losing a beat. Both Hayley and Amy had exceptional auditions; while Amy’s jazz was more warmly received than Hayley’s contemporary, both will need to stand out performance-wise in the other styles for the audience to single them out. And I wouldn’t sleep on tappers Curtis and Alexis–Curtis already looks like he’s eager to throw himself fully into the process, and Alexis’s ballroom swag at her initial audition is proof enough for me that given any style, she has the potential to blow your mind. Considering EVERYTHING is going to be outside of these two dancers’ genre, I think we’re in for a wild ride.

Outside of my earlier sentimental nods, I can honestly say that looking at this Top 20, I am hard pressed to objectively project a clear front-runner. All of them are really good at their own styles, and it’s a pretty even split on whose technique and personalities are larger than life. I can’t wait to see how this season unfolds.

CORRECTION: According to the official SYTYCD webpage on the FOX website, Aaron is listed as being 23 years old, which actually does make Carlos the oldest cast member by one year. I probably didn’t have my bifocals on when I read it the first time.😉

CORRECTION TO THE CORRECTION: Just re-watched the first Top 20 episode, and while I’m blind in one eye, my hearing still works–Aaron himself SAID he’s 25 years old. So the original statement stands. HA!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: SYTYCD Season 10 | Musings&Rants
  2. shazza91321
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 00:19:00

    I predict, Amy and Fik-Shun will be in the final 4. There dance last night was extremely good. Shazza.

    Reply

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